(TRENTON) – Helping more New Jersey nonprofit organizations determined to be at an elevated risk for attacks increase their security, a bill sponsored by Assembly members Annette Quijano (D-Union), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D- Bergen, Passaic) and Robert Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) to codify the New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Program was advanced by the Senate on Monday 39-0.
The original bill, signed into law in 2017, was developed through meetings with various nonprofit organizations, including synagogues and mosques that are concerned for the security of their members.
The sponsors issued the following statement on the bill:
“Times have not gotten any better since the pilot program was introduced. We’ve all seen the news reports. Many religious based non-profits remain at risk and the need for security has heightened. Nonprofits, religious based organizations and members of these communities have a legitimate concern regarding their safety. Through the pilot program, we were able to see the need for funding. Now it’s time to make that support a permanent priority.”
Under the bill (A-1663), the security grant program is directed to provide grants out of any annually appropriated funds to eligible nonprofit organizations to hire certain permanent or temporary security personnel, and for acquisition of certain target hardening equipment.
The legislation would provide award grants of up to $10,000 for nonprofit organizations to hire permanent or temporary security personnel for the purpose of preparing against threats, attacks, or other violent acts. Security personnel under the bill include federal, State, county, and municipal law enforcement officers, special law enforcement officers, and licensed security officers. In addition, the bill awards grants of up to $50,000 for nonprofit organizations to acquire target-hardening equipment.
The grants would be open to all 21 counties.
The bill will now go to the Governor for further consideration.